Smoking in a New South Wales region at lowest point since 2011

After Melissa Paton was forced to watch her father die from emphysema, she vowed to never smoke again.

CHALLENGE: David Spadaccio and Melissa Paton, who quit smoking cold turkey together almost a year ago. Picture: Les Smith

CHALLENGE: David Spadaccio and Melissa Paton, who quit smoking cold turkey together almost a year ago. Picture: Les Smith

The mother-of-three is part of a trend of residents in the Murrumbidgee region giving up the puff, with new figures revealing smoking is at its lowest point since 2011. 

Ms Paton quit smoking cold turkey with her partner, David Spadaccio, almost a year ago. 

“When you have kids you want to be able to do it for them,” Ms Paton said. 

“You want to be around for them and teach them good habits.” 

Just 17 per cent of adult residents were smoking in 2016, a 1.5 per cent drop from the previous year. 

While most people suffer a setback while trying to kick their addiction, Ms Paton said once they got through the first few days together, the rest was easy. 

“We were both so over it and just tired of smoking after almost 25 years,” Ms Paton said. 

“We’d tried before but after watching mum go through it, it was enough.” 

Smoking around 20 cigarettes a day each, the couple now saves $250 a week. 

Mr Spadaccio said making it a competition between the pair motivated him to continue smoke-free. 

“It ended up being a bit of a challenge to see who broke down first and we’re still waiting,” Mr Spadaccio said. 

While Mr Spadaccio and Ms Paton quit without the use of any patches or any other methods, a fellow Wagga resident has quit with the help of an app. 

The My QuitBuddy app showed David Stallard he’s saved $884 and avoided smoking 969 cigarettes after 48 days. 

“The price of cigarettes are ridiculous, that’s what really motivated me to give up,” Mr Stallard said. 

“The app really helps to see the difference.” 

Smoking was at an all-time high more than a decade ago in 2005, when 23 per cent of residents smoked.

The trend peaked again in 2012.